At Mobile Edge, we march to the beat of a different drum. We always have. We do things our own way and our way seems to work nicely. We like to think that this is part of what has helped us survive for nearly 20 years in a small town.
One area where this is crystal clear is in the brands that we carry. We have never taken the easy path and picked the “brand of the day.” One thing is certain: Vendors WANT to be in our store. Not because we are a huge volume shop. We aren’t. Vendors are constantly approaching us because they know that being in our store is a statement to other shops in our industry. Because of this, we can carry anything that we would like. We choose what we believe to be the best. We thought we would share what we look for in a great brand.
Above all, the product needs to be reliable. The absolute worst thing for any retailer is to have a product failure. The customer is not happy. It creates extra work for the dealer in the form of shipping, packing, paperwork and tracking. We offer free removal and replacement of any in-warranty products that we sell and install. That means that when a product fails, we are working for free. Any product failure will cost us an average of 2-3 hours of time. Nobody wants to work for free, do they?
Before we select any brand, we spend a lot of time talking to other shops. We ask a lot of questions about reliability and failure rates. We get sample products in and put them through their paces. We basically beat the hell out of them! Once we are satisfied, the audition can continue!
From day one (Sept 6, 1994) we made a commitment to sell quality products at all price levels. We did not want to sell a “junky” product just to be able to compete at a specific price point. What we looked for was companies whose products added FEATURES as the price increased. Many companies offer poor quality entry-level products and they increase the QUALITY as the price increases. To us, this is not fair.
To illustrate this point, we carried a brand of remote starters for over 10 years. We built our reputation for remote car starters selling this brand. They had a rock solid platform that was consistent from entry-level to high-end. We could look at my customer and confidently tell them that the $249 model was of the same quality as the $799 model… The $799 model happened to have a LOT more features. Quality was identical.
This company was bought out by a larger company. Soon after, they replaced the 2 entry-level models with noticeably lesser quality units. We began to have reliability issues. As painful as it was to part ways with a company that we had worked with for a long time, we did. We shopped other vendors and it was quickly clear that Compustar was the very best choice. The way they go to market insures that EVERY model is of the same quality. Units of higher cost offer more features, transmitter power, etc.
The same is true of the audio lines we offer. Our entry-level amps, subs and speakers are of great build quality and reliability for the uses that they are intended. As the cost increases so does the sound quality, power handling, feature sets, etc. This is extremely important to how we go to market.
While this is not directly important to a consumer, vendor support is a part of the big picture. When a factory is involved in making a dealer more successful, everybody wins. Training, demo materials, representation, etc. are all critical parts of this.
Mobile Edge is a very proud Hertz and Audison dealer. They fly dealers to their training facility in Arizona and do extensive, multi-day trainings each year. They have some of the best, smartest guys in the industry available to us at almost any time.
Perhaps as important is the dealer network. Hertz and Audison have built a culture among their dealers. Their dealers all know each other and there is a tremendous amount of mutual respect. When we needed some technical advice recently on a late-model BMW, we picked up the phone and called a fellow dealer in St. Louis. Within 5 minutes, our question was answered correctly. We return these favors on a regular basis.
This level of support from the vendor and the dealer network is priceless. The consumer is the big winner here because they get to reap the benefits of the collective knowledge of some of the best shops and minds in the country.
The Most Important Brand
When you shop at Mobile Edge, we know that you are not in our store because we sell the “popular name brands.” We sell lesser known, higher end products. We always have. If we do our job, educate you properly, and build trust in what we do, you will have confidence in our recommendations. More importantly, you will be happy with the results. We put a tremendous amount of effort into selecting great brands. At the end of the day, we know that the brand that you are buying is Mobile Edge. And that is something that we take very seriously.